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Holista Coltech (ASX:HCT) - CEO Rajendran Marnickavasagar - The Market Herald
CEO Rajendran Marnickavasagar
Source: Holista Coltech
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  • ASIC is taking Holista Coltech (HCT) to court over allegations the company made misleading claims about its hand sanitiser's effectiveness against COVID-19
  • The case relates to claims made by Holsita's Chief Executive Officer in Februrary 2020 that the ‘NatShield’ sanitiser killed the coronavirus
  • ASIC says the product had not been tested against COVID-19 at the time and alleges the claim was misleading
  • The company entered a trading halt to notify investors of the matter, but is yet to make a public statement regarding the claims
  • Prior to the trading halt, Holista Colltech shares were trading at 6.6 cents

ASIC is taking Holista Coltech (HCT) to the Federal Court over allegations the company made misleading claims about its hand sanitiser's effectiveness against COVID-19.

The corporate watchdog is seeking monetary penalties and to ban Holista Chief Executive Officer Rajendran Marnickavasagar from managing a company. The action comes after Dr Marnickavasagar claimed Holista’s ‘NatShield’ sanitiser killed the coronavirus "involved in the current Wuhan outbreak" in a YouTube video last year.

ASIC alleges the claim was misleading as the product had not been tested against COVID-19 at the time. Holista completed feline testing of the product at a later date.

The company entered a trading halt to notify investors of the matter, but is yet to make a public statement regarding the claims.

"HCT considers that the trading halt is necessary to allow it to consider the
proceedings that will be commenced by ASIC today, to take advice in relation to
them, to consider any public statement that ASIC may make and to prepare the
ASX announcement," the statement read.

ASIC made further claims, alleging HCT said it had placed orders for 415,000 bottles of NatShield when those orders had not been placed and misrepresented forecasted revenues as a result.

ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court said the regulator continued to focus on suspected misleading statements made during the pandemic.

"We are concerned by the allegedly misleading claims, made when there were concerns about a potential pandemic, that NatShield was effective against the virus later known as COVID-19 when it had not been tested against that virus," she said.

Prior to the trading halt, Holista Colltech shares were trading at 6.6 cents.

HCT by the numbers
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